When I first heard about blow dry bars, it seemed silly. Why would you pay someone to do what the air does for free? (I have similar, yet stronger, feelings towards tanning beds.) But I kept hearing friends talk about their blowouts, seeing more blow dry bars pop up, and getting more and more careless about the state of my own hair (see Thing 2 for photographic evidence).
So after Thing 2 left me bloodied, dirty, and sore, I thought it might be fun to try something on the more girly end of the spectrum: I got a blowout.
For those that are unaware, a blowout (as far as I can tell) is basically having someone else just do your hair. Big Rafe described it perfectly: it’s a pedicure for your head. The experience was relaxing, I left feeling good, and it is supposed to last a couple of days. That was really what convinced me to try it. If my hair could look decent for a few days without me having to touch it, that might be the solution to the love-hate relationship I have with it.
I went to styling bar in Rice Village because it had good reviews and though the fancy hair salon scene is foreign to me, that area of town is one of my favorites.
You know that Pinterest board, whether actual or imaginary, we all have with pictures of hair we like? Mine is real but “secret” — I don’t want anyone thinking I’m vain enough to actually care how my hair looks when there are starving children and whatnot. I guess that secret is out. Well stylingbar has one of those too, except I actually got to point at a picture and say, “Make my hair do that.” AND THEN THE STYLIST ACTUALLY DID IT. Amazing!
My girl was a sweetheart, though I don’t think she found me super interesting. She seemed upset that I wasn’t getting my blowout for any other reason than I’d never had one before. We bonded over the final season of Gilmore Girls, but after that moment ended, we pretty much left each other to our jobs: hers making me pretty, mine watching Hugh Grant dance down the stairwell in Love Actually.
She worked carefully, pinning sections of my wet hair up and then flicking her wrists with a round brush in one hand and the blowdryer in the other. I tried to take mental notes so that I could repeat her technique on my own, but I gave up pretty quickly knowing I would never have the patience. When she was just about finished, she took a step back and said, “Wow, you came in here straight from working out and now you look like a runway model!” which I heard as “Man. You looked disgusting and now I’ve made you look presentable. You’re welcome.” Insecurities make us believe crazy things. I’m working on it.
I watched a young girl get her hair styled in the chair next to me. She played with her fingers a lot and blushed when her mom tried to take her picture. Because I’m a bit of a creep, I did my best to listen to their conversations to figure out what her special occasion was (something more exciting than “never had one before”), though the cacophony of the blowdryers made it difficult. I imagined she had a performance at school or maybe she was a flower girl in a wedding. When her sweet little curls were finished, I watched her hand the stylist some cash and tell her she loved it. Her mom popped open an umbrella as they ran out to their minivan leaving me to wonder about their plans.
My curls were finished up shortly after, and I gotta say, I sort of loved it. The process took about 45 minutes from beginning to end. She sprayed me with something promising to combat the humidity (the skies were straight pouring at this point) and sent me on my way.
That evening, feeling too pretty to cook, Big Rafe took little guy and me on a family date to one of our favorite little spots. They have a patio, good cheeseburgers, and a guy who insists he play me Jack Johnson on guitar.
I had a good meal in front of me, the man of my dreams to my left and a french-fry covered baby to my right. The breeze was cool and clean after the rain. Guitar Guy was playing something low and subtle. It was one of those moments I didn’t think could get better, and then it did. The sweet girl from the blow dry bar walked in wearing a pretty lace dress holding her daddy’s hand.
As it turned out, she and I did have the same exciting plans for our weekend blowouts: enjoying the company of men who love us. That’s a special thing, and well worth getting pretty for.